31 January 2016 (Sunday) - Sole Street

Last night as I went to bed I saw my alarm was set. This morning I realised it was still set for yesterday when I needed to be up an hour earlier than I did today. So having been rudely awoken at 6am I lay awake for half an hour before giving up.
I got up feeling somewhat rough. We didn't actually walk that far yesterday; three miles at most. So I was at a loss as to why I ached so much this morning. Also my insides weren't quite what they might have been; I might think twice about an "all you can eat" buffet in the future.

I shared my brekkie toast with "Furry Face TM". He ate that happily enough but wouldn't touch his own brekkie until "er indoors TM" put a small piece of cheese on it. He then yummed it up.
I had a look-see on-line. Little of note had happened overnight so I programmed "Hannah" for the day's planned walk. I must admit had I been thinking I would have charged up my tablet last night and used that today. I was rather miffed to find it was only at twenty eight per cent battery life. Last night the old "GPS vs phone" row kicked off on Facebook. Having used GPS, phone and tablet extensively for hunting tupperware over the last three years I have come to the considered conclusion that the only advantage of a GPS unit is that it has a strap so you can hang the thing round your neck.

We collected Suzy and her associate and set off to Sole Street where we met the rest of today's geo-wanderers. Having spent the last few weeks solving several geo-puzzles the time had come to go find the caches.
I must admit I was a little disappointed with the morning's route. having had a look-see using Google Street View I planned our route along lanes which looked rather quiet and narrow. They turned out o be much wider and busier than I had thought.
After a couple of hours we were back where we'd left the cars. We'd left them by a pub. We had a pint of lunch and then went off on a circular stroll using (mostly) footpaths. I was much more pleased with the afternoon's route.

After some nine miles walking we found ourselves back at the cars. Some of our number had to get away; some of us stayed for a pint of Doombar followed by a pint of Dartford Wobbler.
I then slept most of the way home.

I took a few photos whilst we were out. Once home I got them on-line then scoffed a rather good bit of tea whilst watching yesterday's episode of "Dad's Army". They didn't like it up 'em. Whilst I waited for the washing machine to do its thing I had a look-see on-line.
I then got my shirts ironed and watched a little telly. I fell asleep half way through "War and Peace",


30 January 2016 (Saturday) - The Imperial War Museum

I slept surprisingly well last night, waking only minutes before the alarm. Over brekkie (shared with "Furry Face TM") I watched "Toddlers and Tiaras"; something I've not watched for a few weeks. Today's show seemed to be devoted to the children of the incredibly obese; not a single mother interviewed seemed to be less than thirty stone in weight. They all seemed very annoyed with life in general. (Somewhat like me over the last few days!)
I checked my emails; I had one from an employment agency (Black Belt Healthcare) asking if (with my scientific background) I'd ever considered doing the job I've actually been doing for over thirty years. I can't help but wonder if these people actually read the C.V.s that get submitted to them. Not that I've submitted one to anyone for a couple of years, and certainly never to Black Belt Healthcare. (Whoever they are)

Jimbo and Stevey arrived and having settled "Furry Face TM" (who was going to have adventures of his own with "Daddies Little Angel TM") we made our way to the railway station. We met up with the rest of our number and fifteen of us got on the train to Waterloo. As we travelled Stevey told us of a film he'd seen; a war-time romantic comedy set in a restaurant about two gay zombies (a nom-non bom hom zom rom com) and that rather set the tone of the day.
Despite what I read on-line every day the train service got us to our destination with no delays, and soon we were looking for brekkie. We found a place called "Ecco". I specifically mention it because if any of my loyal readers are in the area and want food I feel I should warm them. We ordered several full English breakfasts between us. The portions were rather small and the food was cold. the so-called "grilled" tomatoes were utterly raw.

From here we made our way to the Imperial War Museum. I took a minor diversion for geo-purposes (today was a calendar day) and once at the museum we broke up into smaller groups and all did our own things for a couple of hours. I had this plan to start at the bottom of the building and work upwards so me and "er indoors TM" made our way into the World War I exhibition. We played with the interactive displays; I dressed as an officer from a hundred years ago... and suddenly we realised we'd used up over half of our alloted time and had only seen half of the first floor. We had four and a half more floors to cover.
We moved on through exhibits from the Second World War; I had no idea the V2 rockets were so big. We found the actual civil emergency telephone which would have been used in Ashford in the event of a nuclear strike. We saw some of the wreckage from the 9-11 attack, and a suicide bomber's vest.
As we walked round we met, joined with, and wandered off from others in our group. Having made the conscious decision to all do our own things no one felt under any obligation to stick together, and everyone could do things at their own pace. That was a good thing. Some people want to read every work on every exhibit; I can see the entire museum in one glance. Today's plan worked well.

We'd agreed to all meet up for lunch at 1.30pm. We did so. Lunch was coffee and cake. Very nice coffee and cake. And as everyone chatted over coffee and cake I devoured mine and fell asleep for half an hour. I was finally woken by a phone call from "Daddies Little Angel TM" with a dog update.

We then went back into the museum for a bit. I made a point of not going to the section on the Holocaust. Perhaps it was cowardice on my part, but I don't think I want to know more about what happened. Instead we went up to the top of the museum where there were many displays about the careers of many individual heroes.
And then, pausing only briefly to have a look around the TIbetan Peace Garden we made our way back to Waterloo and Ashford.

As I walked I found myself in a rather thoughtful frame of mind. Did I like the Imperial War Museum? In all honesty I didn't like it. It was a really good museum; the dispays were excellent. It was thought provoking, and I had tears in my eyes on several occassions. I can thoroughly recommend it as an exellent place to visit. Everyone should visit it to see just how nasty people can be to each other.
But I didn't *like* it.

We were soon on the train to Ashford. Some of our number had to say goodbyes; the rest of us adjourned to the pub for a crafty half then on to the Imperial China for a spot of dinner. I don't think I've been in there before. the "all you can eat" buffet wasn't cheap, but we certainly got our money's worth.

I came home. I took several photos whilst we were out; I uploaded them and then sat feeling rather sorry for myself alternately farting and realising the fallacy of letting a greedy person like me loose on an "all you can eat" buffet.


29 January 2016 (Friday) - Rather Negative Today...

I gave up trying to sleep after a rather restless night and was up and watching this week's "Extant" before 6am. The plot of the show seems to be being made up as the show goes along, but I found myself more and more being amazed bythe fact that Halle Berry is only two years younger than I am. The years have been much more forgiving to her than they have to me.
I quickly had a look on-line. Last night's on-line squabble seems to have died a death which was probably for the best. Why is it that whenever I disagree with someone I take the line of "I disagree with you for the following reasons..." but when anyone disagrees with me they take the line of "I disagree with you therefore you are a bastard"?
This is getting just a little bit wearing.

The morning's haul of emails brought a little frustration. Having spent out recently to replace my paper Ordnance Survey map of the East Kent area I am now told that had I waited a few days I could have got the map a lot cheaper by trading in my old map in part exchange.

As I drove to work I listened to the radio. Four out of every ten teachers have received a slap (or worse) from their pupils. Apparently "A lack of boundaries at home was singled out as the top reason for challenging, disruptive or violent behaviour".
I saw red on this one.
When I was a lad I didn't see my father in the morning; he'd gone to work by the time I got up. Most mornings I would get up myself, scoff brekkie and go to school where I would spend most of the day. By the time I got home and had some tea and done some homework it was usually bed time. Dad would come home about two to three hours after I got home.
It was much the same when my children were small. Whilst my mum laid down the law (as did "er indoors TM") most fathers are working every hour God sends. It is the teachers with whom the children spend most of their time, and it is these same teachers who should be setting some kind of moral and social example for the children.

Four out of ten teachers have experienced physical violence from their charges. Teachers are leaving the profession in droves because they are afraid. Doesn't this tell us something? People don't like being hurt perhaps?
When I was a lad the headmaster had a cane. He didn't need to wield it very often; the threat was enough. But periodically some oik would cross the line and would get two (NOT six) of the best. One boy had a sore arse for a day; a thousand boys behaved themselves and did their lessons (and didn't dream of attacking a teacher) for two years until the next oik got lippy. I think that is a fair price.
However things have changed at my old school. The cane has gone and I have heard recent tales of children openly sniffing glue in the classrooms.
My children's headmaster didn't have a cane. He had a permanently shut door (behind which he hid) and employed a load of support staff armed with politically correct platitudes. Whenever "My Boy TM" misbehaved, the teachers never dreamed of punishing him; they would sit down and try to discuss his crimes. He openly sneered at them. And "Daddies Little Angel TM"'s misdemeanours were rewarded with being given time off school so she could "reflect".
I've always said both fruits of my loin would have benefitted from a sore arse from their teachers from time to time. And told them both so. And in retrospect "Daddies Little Angel TM" has told me she agrees with me.

I got to work,an d an early start made for an early finish. From work I met Stevey at the station and we went on for McScoff with Steve and Sarah. And having McSoffed we went on to astro club.
I'd not been looking forward to going tonight. In all honesty I've not really looked forward to any of the club's meetings for some time. On the one hand I get to meet with a dozen good friends and a couple of dozen of other really good people that I have come to know over the years. On the other hand I am made to feel very awkward by the attitude of three people who make no secret of the fact that they detest me. It is heartening to be assured by everyone else that they want me to remain a part of the club despite the bullies, but I find it difficult to ignore them.
Tonight I made a point of making a joke of their attitude, but it is wearing a little thin...

28 January 2016 (Thursday) - Jack and the Beanstalk

Finding myself falling asleep in front of the telly last night I took myself off for an early(ish) night. After a rather vivid nightmare involving a rather fraught family Christmas dinner on the East Hill lift (in Hastings) I found myself then laying awake for much of the night. I finally gave up any attempt at sleep shortly before 5.30am.
Over a spot of brekkie I combed my dog (he likes that) whilst watching the Channel Four show "Crashing". I don't know whether I like it or not, but it fills the time before work.

I had a look-see on-line; I had an email from Amazon. they gave me a promotion code allowing me a free e-book because I had recently registered a Kindle app. Apparently. I don't remember doing so, but something for nothing is always a good thing.

It was as well that I was up early today. Being a "geo-calendar day" I wanted to go find a geocache before work. Pausing only briefly to scrape all the ice from my car I set off. I had a target in mind.
Some geocaches are bigger than others. Some of the bigger ones are called "Travel Bug Hotels" and are bigger so that there is space inside them for travel bugs. (Travel Bugs are things that travel the world from cache to cache and you can follow their travels on the geo-website). According to my information there was one such Travel Bug Hotel not far from Hythe...
I don't want to sound negative but I must admit I was rather disappointed to find what I can only describe as a rather small sandwich box thrown in amongst some rubbish at the roadside. The description of the thing specified "ground level" so I can only assume it was where it was supposed to be even though there was plenty of space inside the nearby (less than two feet away) crash barrier.
And I was also a tad miffed to find that two of the three travel bugs I'd brought along were too big to fit inside it.

Still, on the plus side I arrived at work to find that having detoured down the motorway I'd managed to miss the serious hold-ups which had blocked my usual route to work.
Once at work I did what I couldn't avoid doing. Over lunch I spent a little while working on tomorrow's presentation for the astronomy club. Despite quite a bit of effort this presentation isn't going to last more than ten minutes. Mind you I suppose that if it went on any longer the punters would only fall asleep.
I also phoned the vet and made an appointment for "Furry Face TM" . His booster against kennel cough is due. I want him to be vaccinated; I doubt he will appreciate that it is for the best. People rarely do when having needles rammed up their khybers.

Once home from work (and with dog walked) we went up the road where the local am-dram group were putting on a pantomime. I've been meaning to get along to this for years. It was a really good show - I cheered the heroes, I booed the villains. I laughed nearly all the way through. But the funniest bit must have been when my seat snapped half way through the second act.
Mind you I was a tad miffed to find the dame was being played by a woman. It should be a bloke in drag. I wonder if they are open to volunteers...


27 January 2016 (Wednesday) - Money, Soup

I slept reasonably well even if I did wake to find I was cuddling my dog as though he was a teddy bear. Leaving him snoring I had a bit of brekkie and watched last week's episode of "Extant". It is a good enough show I suppose, but there are many better shows that have been cancelled. I wonder just what it is that keeps this one on our screens.
I spent a few minutes looking on social media, but overnight absolutely nothing had happened. Probably for the best.

I then spent a few minutes trying to find my car. I completely forgot where I'd parked it last night. It would either have been up or down the road. I tried looking down. It was actually up. And having located the car I set off to work.

As I drove the news on the radio wound me up somewhat. The oil giant Shell was supposedly considering taking over some other company today. I don't know the details; frankly I don't really care. But what wound me up was the attitude of the Shell executive being interviewed. The takeover wasn't being judged for the benefit to the company in terms of its core business...
Or actually it was. I naively thought that Shell's business was all about drilling for oil. Apparently it is not. Its raison d'ĂȘtre is to make money. The chap being interviewed made it crystal clear that whatever the company did with regard to the takeover wouldn't be about what was best for oil production; it would be all about what generated most profit.
And this attitude is true of absolutely everything. Schools, hospitals, transport... all of life is now about turning a quick profit. The world would be a better place if a few more people were a lot less greedy.

I got to work and did my thing. Over lunch I spent a few minutes dusting off the talk I'm going to give to the astro club on Friday. I first did this talk some years ago and in that time it has aged somewhat. Several of the jokes have been blagged by others (quite a few times) and now just seem rather tired, so they got chopped. And (in order to appear to be current) I shoe-horned in a couple of articles that recently appeared on the club's Facebook feed to make it look as though I pay attention.
Hopefully the talk will keep the masses entertained; if I should it loud enough none of the punters will realise I'm making it up as I go along.

An otherwise dull day was lightened by a visit from an old colleague. the inestimable Soup Boy left to take up professional running over a year ago. He popped in to day to say hello. I was amazed how much I'd missed him.

I came home through the rain and walked "Furry Face TM" despite the rain. Perhaps I'm being harsh but the walk was so much easier with only one dog. Sid did dawdle so much.
The idea was then to have a pleasent eveniing in. But "Daddies Little Angel TM" has given orders to "er indoors TM" and sent her on a mission.
And I'm sitting here waiting. As usual...

26 January 2016 (Tuesday) - A Poodle

Again I slept like a log. Pehaps a busy day at work followed by a busy evening at work and bed after mignight had something to do with that.

Yesterday I started making some geo-plans. With a current geo-score of 5968 (not that I'm counting) I would like to do something special for number 6000. There are only about a dozen geo-web-cams in the country. The nearest is in London. I have a plan to go there in a week or so. I've made up an event on Facebook for this. It seems to have attracted quite a bit of interest. If any of my loyal readers would like to come along please do. The more the merrier.
As well as the webcam there are several virtual puzzles to go and find (which I have already solved in theory) and half a dozen (or so) sets of geology homework to do as we walk around.
I worked (and completed) on one such geology excercise over brekkie. There are those that say that armchair logging is cheating (and have told me so!). I would agree... but all I'm actually doing is preparation. I can't help but think that the day trip to London will be quite rushed as it is. Fannying about on Google when out and about is unneccessary fannying about when you can do it at home, and we are going to actually visit all all the places in question anyway.

My little dog seemed particularly soppy and clingy this morning as I geo-puzzled. Sid went back to live with "Daddies Little Angel TM" yesterday; I wonder if Fudge is missing him. I thought that Fudge rather bullied him; perhaps I was wrong.

Yesterday I phoned the train time phone number (0345 484950) to ask them when the first off-peak train will leave Ashford on the day of our London trip. I got given a time, but bearing in mind how unreliable that phone number can be I phoned back and was told something different. So I asked to speak to the supervisor. Someone claiming to be called "Leonard" came on the line and gibbered incoherently for five minutes.
So having a little time on my hands before work this morning I walked "Furry Face TM" up to the train station's ticket office to talk to them. The nice lady on the desk spoke English (which was a help) and told me the earliest time at which she would sell me an off-peak ticket. A different time to both the times I was told yesterday.
As we walked we met an old lady with a poodle. The old lady was pleasent enough; it was a shame that "Furry Face TM" chose to mount the poodle and then got bashed up by said poodle.

We came home and I spent a few minutes doing a little more geology homework. As I googled and wikipedia-ed the letterbox rattled. Postie had been. I fetched the letters and had what I can only describe as a flashback.
It is a matter of public record that five years ago I had some rather unpleasent dealings with my professional regulator. It wasn't a good time, and I try not to dwell on it Today that regulator sent me a letter. Only a circular; nothing of real importance. But I saw their logo on the envelope and it brought back some rather nasty memories. I didn't quite throw up, but it was close, and I seriously considered phoning work to say I would be off sick today. But I didn't.

Perhaps I should have...


25 January 2016 (Monday) - Busy

I slept right through until the alarm went off this morning. I suspect carrying a gas cooker yesterday had taken its toll. Over brekkie I watched a rather lame episode of Dad's Army in which Captain Mainwaring and Sergeant Wilson openly hated and despised each other.
The episode didn't really work; for any TV show, or radio show, or any story really the characters have to be believable. To have the main protagonists acting completely out of character purely for dramatic effect just doesn't convey plausibility.
I then had a look-see on-line. Yesterday posted up a few photos from the family get-together. All sorts of people have clicked the "like" button, including many people that I don't know. I suppose this is the power and the problem with social media; you really don't realise just how far the Internet spreads.

I drove to work; from Kennington to Godmersham (about five miles) some twit was driving about ten yards behind me. At the first opportunity he flew pas me like a bat out of hell, and then started tail-ening the car in front of me and carried on doing so for a further five miles. Being unable to overtake anyone else he actually got to Canterbury about ten seconds before I did.
Perhaps I should have squealed him up to the police for deliberate dangerous driving?

As I drove my piss boiled as I listened to the radio. Some opinionated windbag was ranting about what a waste of time it is prosecuting alleged paedophiles as they "always seem to get off". Personally I would call it "being found not guilty", but this woman wasn't happy. Apparently getting a conviction on an allegation of paedophilia is quite difficult (for all sorts of reasons that I've ranted about ad-nauseum). So it was being suggested that in such cases when witnesses have either died of old age or can't remember the specific and precise details of what happened forty years the law be changed. Rather than proving the accused was guilty it was suggested that it would be sufficient to show that the accused might have been guilty. That way a lot more convictions would be secured.
It bothers me that a *lot* of people are happy with this idea of so-called justice

I stopped off at Morrisons for supplies, then went on to work where I had a surprisingly busy day messing about with prolems arising from the M and K blood groups. (Most people think blood groups stop at "B"!)
And then with one load of work done I started another. "Daddies Little Angel TM" had given orders for me to collect another sofa, and who was I to disobey? Fortunately for my back loading the sofa was quite easy - I was able to park up very near to the house from which it was coming. However I did have three trips up and down the stairs when dropping the sofa off.

I came home and despite having (again) overdone the lifting I then had a rather busy evening. Monthly accounts, ironing, but I did get to watch "Gotham" ...



24 January 2016 (Sunday) - Family Get-Together

Yesterday started with depressing news. So did today. A friend's mother died yesterday. She'd not been well for a few months and she passed away yesterday.
I found myself thinking about this particular death. I've known this family for over forty years. They have always been particularly religious and regular church-goers. Their religion specifically states that death is*not* the end. Is their religion a comfort at times like this? Having been a religious nut in my youth and having then "seen the darkness" in retrospect I am surprised at just how many people don't get any comfort from their so-called beleifs in the darkest hours.

I spent a little while listening to the rain outside whilst solving virtual geo-puzzles. Virtual geo-puzzles are incredibly rare; a series of the things is even rarer. There is a series of seven in London; I solved six of eight this morning and then I took Fudge round the block. Sid didn't want to go so I left him behind. For all that he really should go for a walk I can't help but feel that I'm in some way bullying him in forcing him out.

With one dog walked "Daddies Little Angel TM" and "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" arrived and they came with me down to Hastings; "er indoors TM" followed with Cheryl and Lacey. We were soon at the Hollington Oak where the tribe gathered for a little celebration. It will be my Dad's eightieth birthday in a day or so.
An excellent meal with all the family together. And there are quite a few of us I took a few photos whilst we were out.

We came home via Brittania Lane; "Daddies Little Angel TM" wanted me to collect a table as we had the car handy. And then on to Beaver Court for a microwave. We took them to her new flat (which is quite good) and then drove out to the back of beyond to get a gas cooker. Having broken our backs getting the gas cooker into the new flat we then filled the car with most (but not all) of the rest of her stuff from the temporary accommodation.

I finally got to sit down in front of the telly about four hours later than I had been planning. I shall iron my shirts another time...

23 January 2016 (Saturday) - At The Theatre

I woke to the sound of paws. Sid was stomping about at 4am. Bearing in mind his propensity for midnight pooping I got up to let him out. As I got up he went back to bed. As I settled in my bed he got up again. So I got up again and he went back to his bed.
This carried on for an hour or so....

Over brekkie social media was somewhat depressing. A friend who has had a rather grotty deal from life found happiness a few years ago and moved away with her new husband. They had a lovely little family, but this morning I saw that not only had they split up but this chap who seemed such a fine fellow is now determined to ruin her life.
And several other friends have recently lost their good friends to cancer.

When I popped the lead onto "Furry Face TM" in readiness for our walk he got very over excited. Like most dogs the walk is the highlight of his day. Sid saw the lead and ran and hid; the walk isn't in his top ten things to do. But despite Sid's protests both dogs came with me for a quick walk round the block. It was a very foggy morning; probably for the best. With visibility down to ten yards no one saw what I was doing as I paused for a spot of geo-maintenance on one of my caches not far from home.

Once home I had a whinge at the broadband provider. Our home broadband has been slow to the point of being unusable for the last few days. The nice lady on the help desk fiddled about for a bit and then asked why we'd put restrictions on the line. We hadn't. She said that restrictions would slow the broadband, and if we were happy for her to do so she would remove the restrictions. But it would take a couple of hours.
We left her removing restrictions and pausing only briefly for "er indoors TM" to break her phone we went round to collect Cheryl and Lacey, and then went on to Maidstone Park & Ride where we met Glen and Matt.

I'd not done the Maidstone Park & Ride before. A bus with wi-fi. Will wonders never cease?

The bus soon got us in to Maidstone and it was only a short walk to the Hazlitt Theatre. Some time ago a good friend had stuck a geocache on that building. It is a particularly good one. I saw it straight away; but then I know what to look for. Thousands of people must walk past it every day without noticing it. And with geo-stuff done we went in to watch a show,
I've seen "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat" twice before. Once in Eastbourne back in the days when I had religion (circa 1983) and once at the White Rock Theatre in Hastings (about 1988). Today's show was excellent, but then I've now seen six shows done by the Stage Theatre Society and they have all been really good. Mind you every time I've been to their shows the excellent efforts of the actors have been undermined by the sound system, and it happened again today. They really do need to have a word with whoever it is that turns the actors' microphones off and on.

After the show we took another wi-fi-enabled bus back to the car and drove out to the Harvester at the Running Hourse Roundabout. I don't think I've actually been to a Harvester before. I would certainly go again. Excellent food, decent bottled ale (and staff who know how to serve it), and not overpriced either.
And an added bonus was when we showed them Matt's twenty per cent discount deal they gave us twenty five per cent off by mistake.

Once home I checked our broadband. It seems to be working now. And with it working I then made a few plans for a geo-walk next weekend. Bearing in mind it involves premium caches and a few puzzles it probably isn't good form to open it up to absolutely everyone... but if any of my loyal readers want to come for a walk next Sunday just drop me a line.
I've had a really good day today... I feel exhausted now.

22 January 2016 (Friday) - Not Breaking my Back

An odd sensation; I was pleasently dozing, drifting in and out of proper sleep (as one does) when "er indoors TM" alarm went off. At that point I suddenly realised I had the most excruciating pain in my back. Somehow I'd been ignoring it.
I heaved myself up, and over brekkie had a look-see on-line. A new geocache had gone live not far from work. Were I not on the late shift I might have chased the First to Find. But it will come in handy as a calendar filler. Other emails included other hidden tupperware; requests for caches to be archived, requests for me to finance home-made films, and ladies of dubious morals offering to sell me carnal favours. I had half a mind to ask just how much filth I would get for fifty pence, but thought better of the idea. I suspect I would get more than I bargained for.
And talking of getting more than I bargained for, a local pub is offering a belly-buster challenge. For fifteen quid you get a double bacon cheese burger, three sausages, two eggs, two bacon rashers, chips, chilli beef, half a rack of BBQ ribs, mushrooms, onion rings, garlic bread or plain baguette, and the choice of a pint draught or soft drinks. If you scoff the lot you get it for half price. "My Boy TM" is up for watching me having a go. Does anyone else fancy a trip to The Star?

I took the dogs for a walk; we met "Daddies Little Angel TM" on the way, and other than what I can only describe as a "near miss" event with a Beagle the walk passed off relatively well. We got home just as "My Boy TM" was arriving with a huge van. I helped him park it, we got the sofa out of the back of my car and into the van, and I then left everyone else loading up the van whilst I went off to work.
Ideally I would have helped "Daddies Little Angel TM" move house today but I couldn't get the leave. And I've already moved her several times over the last few months...

As I drive to work the radio was spewing some serious drivel about how women politician's careers are far more influenced by their dress sense than by their political stances. Apparently they really do get more votes for dressing smartly than for having sensible policies.
And then there was an article about a problem in Peterborough where infinity per cent of the Asian population are marrying their cousins and all sorts of (until now) rare genetic diseases are becoming more and more common. Apparently it is a cultural thing because marrying your cousin makes for a more harmonious marriage. Ironically where this is endemic in Pakistan they are well aware of the genetic problems and cousins have genetic testing and counselling before having children. Not so here in the UK though...

I got to work for the late shift. As I arrived the rain was getting heavier. Was it wrong of me to be glad that I was in the dry and not helping move house today...?



21 January 2016 (Thursday) - A Few Whinges

Anyone who knows me will know I have a tattoo or two on me. I quite like the things... or to qualify that somewhat I quite like the things when they are done well. Over brekkie I saw an on-line photo of a tattoo which a friend has recently had done.
Oh dear.
How do you tell someone their tattoo is frankly awful? This one looks as though a child has scrawled it. A tattoo gun is a precision instrument, not a toy.

I also saw the above meme on social media (I've censored it somewhat). It made me think. I consider myself to be an easy-going person, but the above is very true of me - it takes a while to get my back up, but once I decide against someone then I absolutely detest that person.
Having said that there isn't many people that I don't like. I spent much of the day compiling a mental list of those people. I won't publish it here, but suffice to say the list doesn't run into double figures. Nearly half of those people are ones with whom I've not had any dealings for years, and of the remainder most are people I've only ever encountered on-line and have never actually met in person.

Having scraped the ice off of my car this morning I set off to work. I kept worrying myself by glancing in the driver's mirror only to be unable to see anything because of "Daddies Little Angel TM"'s sofa which has taken up residence in my car. I am told it won't be there for long.
As I drove my piss boiled somewhat. The results of the inquiry into the poisoning of Alexander Litvenenko was published today. Having been poisoned with radioactive polonium in 2006 it has only taken ten years for the authorities to investigate the matter.
There was also consternation at leaks about an inquiry into what the late Jimmy Saville did or didn't do at the BBC many years ago.
These are yet more examples of what is wrong with British justice; how can these things take so long? In my line of work an hour is an unacceptable delay. I have trouble with a timescale of years rather than minutes.

Our old friend Science was also back in the news having announced the ever increasing likelihood of another planet in our solar system. Reports of this planet put it at being between four and ten times the size of Earth. That's quite a wide margin of error.

I got to work, and had a surprisingly busy day. But an early start made for an early finish. I came home to chaos. In theory "Daddies Little Angel TM" moves to her new home tomorrow. In preparation for this move she has lifted all of her luggage from storage (in our spare bedroom and attic) and put it where it would be more easily accessible when she loads the van tomorrow.
And having filled my living room with her clutter she's cleared off leaving me unable to get through my own house.
Some things never change...

Today was a bit of a ranty day. Must stop that...

20 January 2016 (Wednesday) - Inequalities

Having gotten into the habit of expecting to be waking constantly all night long it was with something of a shock that I looked at the clock for the first time last night only to see it was two minutes until alarm time.
I leapt into action, and over brekkie watched Ronnie Corbett in "Sorry". He was having trouble with Muffin the Mule, and was also trying his luck with the delectable Fenalla. Then, having taken an injured duck to church he then had a mishap with an inflatable dinosaur. (Comedy was different when the show was made in the 1980s!)

I scraped the ice off of my car, set off to work, and stopped after fifty yards to scrape again. An air temperature of minus seven degrees had once more frozen the windscreen. Whilst I realise that minus seven degrees is positively balmy to some, to me it isn't that warm.
Being a "calendar day" I drove to Sellindge in search of Tupperware. After one failure I tracked a sandwich box down. It had been lurking near the doctors' surgery. Previous finders had complained the contents had been wet. I had no such issues; I found them to be frozen solid.

As I drove the pundits on the radio were talking about the latest scandal; the inequality between men and women's shopping. Designer jeans of the same brand, waist and leg size can cost women fifty per cent more than they cost men. Women's disposable razors cost double the price of men's and the only difference is the colour of the plastic. Some consumer rights guru was wheeled on and he said that this has been going on for years; it is (apparently) no secret that women are prepared to spend more when shopping than men are. The pundits rightly accused this chap of being sexist; he didn't deny it. But he maintained his position. He even cited the very price disparities as evidence to prove his point.

I got to work and as the day wore on I received orders from "Daddies Little Angel TM". She'd bought a sofa. And so once work was done I came home via a fifty-mile detour to collect the thing from Rochester.

Once home the first thing I did once home was to walk the dogs. Whilst Sid could quite happily live without it, Fudge couldn't. He is quite fractious if not walked.
As we walked we had what can only be described as a near-miss event. Suddenly and without warning "Furry Face TM" darted at a parked car. I caught him almost instantly, but a car coming down the road toward us stopped immediately with a loud screech of brakes, and I saw a cat running off into the distance. The driver of the car didn't seem to notice me or the one who'd made that cat run out. Whilst no harm was done the cat could have been flattened. Part of me felt a little guilty about the episode, but chasing cats is the terrier's nature. And (am I wrong here?) should cats *really* be out on a main road when the temperature is well below zero?

Being home a lot later than planned we had a quick dinner (KFC) and watched a few episodes of "Benidorm"; I'd not seen it before; it was excellent.


19 January 2016 (Tuesday) - This N That

I slept like a log last night. I woke wonderfully refreshed and raring to go... at 1.20am. I then saw every hour of the rest of the night; finally giving up and getting up just before 6am. I watched Ronnie Corbett in "Sorry" over brekkie then had a look-see on line.

Over brekkie I saw some johnny-come-lately had posted on the Geocaching in Kent group rudely dismissing a cache walk in the Greenhill area. Apparently he felt the roads in the area were dangerous. Having walked the route myself my route didn't use much road at all; and I though the *footpaths* that the route followed were quite scenic.
The trouble with hunting Tupperware as a hobby is that (if done properly) it does pre-suppose a little knowledge with map and compass and of the Great Outdoors. A surprising number of people have never heard of footpaths, and it is amazing how many people buy a GPS unit from eBay and then follow it in a straight line regardless of what is in their way when walking that straight line.
I made a gentle comment that I'd had no problem with the route in question and thought no more about it....

"Furry Face TM" scrounged some toast whilst I gave him a good brushing. He likes that. He came upstairs with me when I went to get dressed; I noticed that he hesitated before running up the stairs. Is his back still hurting him?

I had a little scraping of ice to do on my car this morning. As I drove I seemed to (as usual) be in the minority. Today the minority was in ice scraping. I'd shifted the ice from all the windows of my car so I could see all round. Most other people had merely cleared part of the drivers side of the windscreen so they could see directly in front of them.
As I drove the pundits were discussing something I mentioned last week. Last year the pollsters had predicted the election results wrongly. Today they explained the reason for their failings; they hadn't asked the right cross section of the electorate and had polled too many people who claimed they were going to vote Labour (!) Dur !!

Bearing in mind I can use the works wi-fi I had a look-see on Facebook at tea time. The know-it-all who had been so rude on the geocaching site earlier had replied to my comment saying that I was wrong and he was right. I've had dealings with this fellow before; I thought of replying to him, but decided against it. It is generally not good form to be voted "Geocacher of the Year" and then start publically calling people rude names. Even when they've done their best to remove all possible doubt on the matter.
Mind you as the day wore on I had a few private messages thanking me for standing up in defence of the Grenhill loop. I got the distinct impression that several other people have had run-ins with this newbie before.

With work done I came home and walked the dogs round the roads. It was a cold evening but "Furry Face TM" was keen. Sid wasn't quite as up for it. And with dogs walked and tea scoffed we set off to Folkestone for the Tuesday gathering. new front door, sweeties to scoff, Star Trek on the telly... it was a shame to come home to find turds on the carpet.